Building Relationships with Long Term Tenants
As we are entering the slow season for rental properties and finding new tenants, we wanted to take a moment and stress the importance of resident retention and building stronger relationships with your current, potentially long term, tenants.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine what is the most effective, yet professional way to keep your properties occupied with tenants that are willing to maintain and care for your property as well as continue to pay their rent on time. Happy renters do make happy owners (and vice versa)!
Of course we all are excited to show your properties to prospective applicants. However, was there a reason the property fell vacant in order to do so? Most cases, there are simple reasons, such as location, tenants purchasing their own home and rent increases. However, occasionally, there may have been other circumstances. We have pieced together some input that may assist in resident retention for our owners and property managers alike.
FOCUS – Focus more on current residents rather than finding new residents. If you have a good tenant, you don’t want to lose them. Perhaps offer incentives for your current tenants for renewing their lease, taking care of your property and paying rent. Tenants often appreciate when they feel valued as a resident. Just some food for thought – If your current tenant is paying $900.00 in rent and stays for ten years ($900 x 12 x 10) that equals $108,000.00. In essence, that particular tenant could have purchased your property or one similar. If they are doing right by you, do right by them and they will keep renewing!
UPGRADE – Create a sense of ownership for your tenants. If you are certain that you have a wonderful resident residing in your property, be sure to note any damages that need repaired, any remodel requests they suggest or any upgrades they wish to receive. Of course, we cannot always accommodate every detail, but providing your tenant that “home feeling” does go a long way in regards to maintaining that occupied status for your rental property.
RESPONSIVENESS – Listen. Acknowledge Concerns. Again, we all understand that there are measures we must take and measures we may not be able to take, however listening and acknowledging any and all concerns or questions your tenant may have does put their minds at ease. Keep your residents informed, whether that be directly from you as the owner or through your management company. If there are maintenance issues, continue to keep your tenant updated on the status.
TECHNOLOGY – Embrace it. Use it. It is a great tool to have in this industry. However, be understanding to those that do not use it. While technology can be wonderful, not all residents utilize it..
TIME – If possible, spend a little extra time with your residents. Not all owners are available to do so, but if you hire a management company to take care of the back end items of your rental property, this should be a simple task. During move ins, walk around the property WITH them. Fifteen minutes is all you need to discuss the area with them, show them how to use certain amenities onsite and write down any concerns or questions they may have. Not only will they remember the effort you made, you have already started building a relationship with your potential long term tenant!